Buying a home is one of the most exciting milestones of your life. To prepare yourself for this moment, you need to know what to expect during the process. This step-by-step first time buyer’s guide created by your agent will help reduce the stress of buying a home and help you enjoy the journey as much as possible.
Do you already know where you want to buy? If you want a condo, townhome, or single-family home? Which features do you like and dislike? What’s available on the market now? If you answered no to any of these questions, now is the time to start researching. In addition to looking for homes that interest you, also take note of any changes in asking prices. This could give you valuable insight into housing trends in specific neighborhoods and help you when the time comes to make an offer.
Notice I said to decide on your budget—not determine how much the mortgage company will give you. In many cases, a mortgage company will pre-approve you for more than you’re comfortable spending, which is why you need to determine the monthly payment you feel comfortable with before talking to a lender. This likely includes doing a full household budget and taking into consideration what changes other than a mortgage payment will occur once you move into your new home. If you’ve lived in an apartment or with roommates, you may overlook new expenses like garbage, water, or HOA fees that could easily blow your budget.
Just because you think you can afford a certain payment every month doesn’t mean the mortgage company will agree. Just as they may approve you for too large of an amount, they may also approve you for a lesser amount or deny you a mortgage altogether. Lack of time at a job, insufficient credit, past bankruptcies, or other financial issues can cause major problems when trying to secure a mortgage. Before you get your heart set on a home, talk to a mortgage professional to find out what amount you can qualify for. This will also be an advantage when you make an offer on a home, as some sellers won’t entertain offers from those who aren’t already prequalified for a loan.
Can you shop for, look at, and ultimately make an offer on a home without a real estate agent? Technically yes, but why would you when it costs you nothing for an agent like me to take much of the stress off your shoulders? Not only will I help identify properties you might be interested in, arrange showings, and ultimately handle the offer process, but I also have a knowledge of the market that you don’t possess. Finding the perfect home can be a daunting task, this is where my expertise and wealth of knowledge come into play. Let me show you around some homes that meet your dream home criteria so you can find the one that's right for you.
My goal is to provide you with the most personalized service that is designed to help you buy your dream home
This should be the most enjoyable step of the entire process (other than moving in!). I will arrange showings of homes you’re interested in that are within your price range. Take notes about what you like and don’t like, and make sure to pay attention to details. Turn light switches on and off, open and close doors, and run the faucets in various rooms. Don’t limit your inspection to the home itself. Make sure to take time to explore the neighborhood and keep an eye on traffic at certain times of the day, the parking situation, and how close it is to necessities like schools and grocery stores.
Once you have selected the perfect home, work with your agent to craft a fair offer based on the value of comparable homes on the market. Depending on what the home is listed at and whether the current environment is a buyer’s or seller’s market, your offer may be below, at, or even above the asking price. I will be able to help you negotiate if you receive a counteroffer and reach an agreement. At this point, the house will go into escrow.
In most cases, your offer will be contingent on having the home inspected to ensure there is no major structural damage or large repairs needed. I can help you arrange this, and you can schedule it within days of making an offer. If there are no major issues, the process goes to step eight. If there is, you can renegotiate your offer based on what needs to be fixed, or you can withdraw it.
Now is the time to go back to the mortgage lender who pre-approved or pre-qualified you and choose your mortgage. You will be presented with various options based on your unique financial situation, including fixed-rate, variable-rate, 15-year, 30-year, or special programs such as VA loans or FHA loans. Work with your mortgage lender to select the option you feel the most comfortable with.
Your lender will have your new home appraised so they have their independent value of it. The appraisal is to ensure that all parties involved are paying a fair price for the house.
No one looks forward to all the paperwork involved in buying a home, but it’s a necessary part of the process. Fortunately, everything will be arranged by your lender and title company and, when you’re finished, you’ll know you are the legal owner of your new home.
After signing the final paperwork to complete the purchase, you are now the owner of a new house. It may take a few days for your loan to be funded once the paperwork has been returned to the lender, but once that check is delivered to the seller, you’ll be all set to move into the home of your dreams.
Chris has been a total delight to work with. He is very responsive, easy to talk to, and very transparent when it comes to asking and answering questions. He always went above and beyond. We don't live full time in Truckee so he was always wiling to work around our schedule. Full of good information and advice. I highly recommend working with Chris.
We highly recommend Chris Fajkos to help find your Tahoe home. Chris was so pleasant to work with. Not pushy. Down to earth. We felt he genuinely listened to our dreams and hopes. Even our three kids’ perspectives felt valued and recognized. And our sheltie Snoopie was also welcome at our meetings and tours. Chris shared all his knowledge with us, and he was easy t...
Chris came recommended to us by a good friend who had an amazing experience working with him to purchase their Martis Creek home. So when it was time for us to explore buying our weekend getaway at Northstar, they didn't hesitate to introduce us. We started our search during Covid-19 shelter in place, and Chris went over and beyond to accommodate our needs and be m...
The Tahoe market can be competitive and Chris worked hard to ensure we found the perfect home. He has extensive knowledge on all of the Tahoe communities and helped us narrow down our search. We worked with Chris long distance and there were multiple times when he would video homes we couldn't see in person. He never sent us homes that didn't meet our criteria and ...
Chris helped me sell my son's home in Truckee. I am in So Cal and he did everything. It was so easy. This was the smoothest real estate transaction I have ever done. I highly recommend Chris and I would defiantly work with him again.
Chris just helped me close on my first house in Truckee and was awesome to work with. He really helped me navigate the process while making it convenient and stress-free. I would highly recommend him to anyone looking to buy or sell property in the Truckee / Tahoe area.
We have used Chris as our agent on both the buy and sell side. He delivered fantastic outcomes on both. On the buy side, Chris was incredibly patient with us as we searched for the right Tahoe property and was able to move quickly once we found the home we wanted. Our offer was accepted immediately and the transaction could not have been easier. We had a little mo...
Chris helped us purchase a beautiful house in Kings Beach. He knows all the ins and outs of Tahoe real estate and was very helpful with an especially challenging seller. I'd recommend him to anyone looking for a buying agent in North Lake or Truckee!